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Sclerotinia expected to be widespread this year

Sclerotinia is one of the most serious diseases affecting canola in Western Canada

It’s the silent killer. Sclerotinia is one of the most serious diseases affecting canola in Western Canada -- and it’s expected to be a big factor in the 2011 growing season, especially given the wet weather this past spring.

“The combination of high yield potential, good canola prices and favourable conditions for disease development could make fungicide spray a good economic decision for many canola fields,” reports the Canola Council of Canada in its June 22 edition of Canola Watch.

Research shows that there is no effective way to control sclerotinia following the appearance of symptoms, which include premature ripening and pale grey or white lesions on stems, branches and pods. For the best results, a foliar fungicide should be applied as a preventive treatment, to stop fungal growth before it can damage the plant and decrease yield potential. Unlike treating weeds, addressing sclerotinia is about disease prevention, not symptom control.

“Timing is everything when you want to get the most out of your fungicide application,” says Glen Forster, Technical Specialist for BASF Canada. “We recommend that growers apply a fungicide early, such as our Group 7 fungicide, Lance, at the 20 to 50 per cent bloom.”

Lance starves the fungi of oxygen. It’s unique to the market because it not only protects areas of the plant directly sprayed, its systemic action also defends parts of the plant that were missed during application. To give growers even more protection and peace of mind, Lance can also be tank mixed with Headline, which protects against blackleg and provides the plant health benefits of AgCelence®.

“The real story is in the yield,” adds Dale Pihowich, a grower in Carrot River, Saskatchewan, who participated in a BASF trial using Lance. “Lance out-yielded the untreated by roughly five bushels an acre.” When it comes to sclerotinia control, this says it all.

About BASF Crop Protection Division

With sales of €4.0 billion in 2010, BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leader in crop protection and a strong partner to the farming industry providing well-established and innovative fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. Farmers use these products and services to improve crop yields and crop quality. Other uses include public health, structural/urban pest control, turf and ornamental plants, vegetation management, and forestry. BASF aims to turn knowledge rapidly into market success. The vision of BASF’s Crop Protection division is to be the world’s leading innovator, optimizing agricultural production, improving nutrition, and thus enhancing the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at or follow us on twitter:

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Tabetha Boot
Tel: 403-461-1253